As human beings, we are all in search of something. Although many times we do not know what our mission in this world is, almost all of us are sure that something greater awaits us. We live full of desires, illusions, hopes and we make the mistake of taking many things for granted. Therefore, drastic life changes are often seen as an obstacle. But what if those transformations actually serve to show us who we really are?
Set on a fictional island in Ireland, the spirits of the island follows two lifelong friends Padraic (Colin Farrell) and Colm (Brendan Gleeson) with a serious problem when: Colm has decided to end their friendship. Confused and with the support of his sister Siobhan (Kerry Condon) and troublesome Dominic (Barry Keoghan), Padraic struggles to mend their relationship. He refuses to take “no” for an answer. When Colm gives her an ultimatum, things spiral out of control, leading to shocking consequences for everyone.
Thanks to a powerful script and a very meticulous direction, Colin Farrell manages to give Patric the best performance of his career.. Without unnecessary shouting or fuss, the Irishman conveys the intense growth of his character throughout the film. With very controlled attitudes that are transformed, Farrell manages to make the public feel mixed emotions around him. Brendan Gleeson is no slouch, delivering an even more measured performance than Farrell’s, but just as intense. There are not a few scenes where a single look of his conveys more than any dialogue.
Although the spirits of the island revolving around the characters of Farrell and Gleeson, the supporting cast shines through perfectly. Kerry Condon stands out as the noble Siobhan, who gradually gains the mettle and strength to fight for her own destiny. But it is Barry Keoghan who attracts the most attention for her transformation. Even in danger of becoming a caricature, Keoghan shows why he is one of the best actors of his generation. Thanks to work that takes him away from his previous characters, he creates a memorable Dominic, with the right balance between innocence and recklessness.
The work of the four of them would not be possible without a talent behind it like Martin McDonagh, who writes and directs. Taking as a reference the breakup of a friendship and repeating certain aspects of the black comedy that he elevated to Three ads for a crime already in bruges –on which the filmmaker worked with Gleeson and Farrell fifteen years ago– the filmmaker manages to delve into issues that at first glance are not so clear.
Between the search for inspiration, fitting in, unrequited love and finding new horizons, the spirits of the island it remind us that everything can change in an instant and that human relationships are transformed. But it also emphasizes that this does not necessarily mean the end of the world. The detachment that many fear could be an opportunity to forge character and venture to say and do what we do not dare, with all the good, the bad and the disturbing that this entails.
Even with all the darkness, the secrets and the problems of the main characters, the spirits of the island it is a visually beautiful film. The photograph of Ben Davis (Eternals) creates an interesting contrast, as it lets us see a dreamlike Ireland while Padriac and Colm head, second by second, towards their downfall. For his part, he score by Carter Burwell (Three ads for a crime) perfectly accompanies the scenes and transforms as the characters begin to fight against themselves.
And what are these “island spirits”? In the end, that will depend on each one. Although McDonagh gives us a fairly clear representation, the truth is that everyone will interpret these lost souls differently. It doesn’t matter if we fight against desolation, grudges, evil, or even the slow passage of time towards death. Challenging those spirits might be the only way to get what we want so badly. And at best, the only way to find out who we are.
Juan Jose Cruz I am one of those who always defended Robert Pattinson as Batman and can see the same movie in the theater up to 7 times. My guilty pleasure? Low budget horror movie.